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Health privacy paper

A paper on NHS data security examines the privacy issue from the perspective of CEOs, CIOs, IT, security and information governance professionals, clinicians and patients.  



FairWarning, a patient privacy monitoring software firm, has published a security white paper entitled Make or Break – Digital Healthcare and Privacy Reach the Tipping Point.  Drawing from customers in who represent over 800 hospitals and 2,500 clinics across the UK, USA, Canada and Europe, as well as research, the paper provides a perspective on NHS privacy and security and details its importance in the future of patient care. 


As the UK Department of Health unveils its newly released ‘Information Strategy‘, this white paper provides a blueprint for NHS data security and examines the privacy issue from the perspective of CEOs, CIOs, IT, security and information governance people, clinicians and patients. 


Unless action is taken to ensure privacy then the future of electronic healthcare is at risk – so are the reputations of many providers, senior managers and clinicians as evidenced by the recent string of reported data breaches, it is claimed. This needs to change so that patients, the public and healthcare professionals can feel confident and safe regarding their use. 


“Electronic healthcare is among the most important advances of our times. Given the rapid and dramatic changes, it is vital for healthcare leaders to make sure they also become leaders in privacy protection. It plays a vital role in ensuring that patients build trust and receive the care they deserve, plus it helps to protect the reputations of healthcare providers,” said Kurt Long, CEO and Founder of FairWarning.   


“Privacy and security form the bedrock on which the NHS can progress its current goal to provide better and sustainable healthcare. The loss in confidence in electronic healthcare could undermine the drive to deliver many initiatives such as those outlined in the Information Strategy, including the roll out of tele-health and tele-care technology to millions of patients and the target for all patients in England to be able to access their GP records electronically by 2015.We have reached a ‘tipping point’ where privacy and security needs to be high up the NHS agenda and our paper outlines for board members, IT specialists, clinicians and patients, as to how this can be achieved. I am incredibly encouraged by the fact that our views are shared by those responsible for delivering on the privacy challenges within the NHS, the ICO and patient privacy groups. Their support and interest is evidenced throughout the paper along with other advocates.” 


In the UK, like many other global nations building a strategy around electronic healthcare records, momentum is building around the issue of privacy and security. For example Dame Fiona Caldicott has been commissioned by the government to spearhead an independent review on the protection of patient data. In this environment healthcare organisations must be certain that they are in full control of who accesses patient data and be able to prevent its misuse.The white paper Make or Break – Digital Healthcare and Privacy Reach the Tipping Point can be downloaded at  


Channel 4’s Dispatches  documentary series suggested that private detectives were obtaining medical information from supposedly secure databases.  


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